Thursday, October 31, 2019: Reformation Day

This Week’s Theme
The Truth Will Set You Free
John 8.31-36

On this Reformation day, we remember our Lord’s word in John chapter 8 to those Jews who heard his word, and believed on him. To those who heard him and clung to his teaching, Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Those who did not believe what he said answered him, claiming to be the children of Abraham, those who “have never been enslaved to anyone” (v. 33). They denied Jesus’s insinuation that they were not now “free”!

Jesus understood their denials, and answered them accordingly, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Jesus broadened his definition, and identified them as those who were enslaved as well. “Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” Their rejection of this word proves that they were not true offspring of Abraham; how could they be children of Abraham and simultaneously be seeking to kill the Lord, who himself was the very seed of Abraham, the fulfillment of the promise to him?

On this day we remember the men and women who risked their lives to stay true to God’s Word, in the face of empty tradition, immoral leadership, and neglected Scripture. The Reformation’s contribution to the Church is its rediscovery of the truth of Scripture, and the centrality and supremacy of Christ. In our day, we need that same spirit and vision. The Gospel of Christ demands allegiance to the Word of God.

Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

We beseech Thine Omnipotence, Holy God, Father Almighty, that Thou wouldest fill us with the gift of Thine Only-begotten Son, and the ineffable blessing, visitation, and life-giving power of Thine and His Holy Spirit; whereby Thy Church, enkindled with His fire, may hold the true faith in Him from Whom she receives all truth. Amen.

~ Mozarabic (Bright, p. 64)

Call to Worship  

Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.

Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus 

You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day

Thursday: 2 Cor. 6.14-10.18

Lectionary Readings for the Day

Psalm: Ps. 46

OT: Jer. 31.31-34

Gospel: John 8.31-36

NT: Rom. 3.19-28

(Click here for all readings)

Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Departing to Serve

Almighty and gracious Lord, pour out Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people. Keep us steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and deliver us in times of temptation, defend us against all enemies, and grant to Your Church Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

~ Lutheran Service Book, Collects of the Day-Feast Festival and Occasion
(Murray, p. 342)

Affirmation for the Day
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8.31-32).

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8.31-32).

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus

That We Might Live through Him
1 John 4.7-14

Book Reading
Olson, Bruchko

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